David Hoffman, Moscow bureau chief of The Washington Post, is the winner of the 1998 SAIS-Novartis Prize for Excellence in International Journalism for his 10 reports titled Russia. The winning entry is the culmination of a yearlong reporting project on the legacy of former Soviet weapons sites in post-Communist Russia.
"In this extraordinary series of investigative reports, David Hoffman brought to the attention of Russia--and the world--previously undisclosed threats of chemical weapon leakage, high radiation levels, nuclear seepage from rotting Russian submarines, and migrating technology and talent, along with a penetrating analysis of the decay of the Russian early warning radar system," said Paul Wolfowitz, dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. "These articles are an outstanding example of reporting by a single journalist, and they set a high standard of excellence in international journalism,"
Established in 1995 by SAIS, and supported by an unrestricted grant from Novartis Ltd., the SAIS-Novartis Prize recognizes outstanding achievement in the coverage of international affairs. This $15,000 award is presented annually to one or more journalists whose work has brought to public attention a topic of international importance. The prize is open to all journalists in all media. This year's entries came from 32 countries in 20 languages.
In addition to the winner of the $15,000 first prize, nine other finalists were recognized. The Wall Street Journal team of Michael Siconolfi, Anita Raghavan, Mitchell Pacelle, Michael R. Sesit, Steve Liesman, Andrew Higgins, David Wessel and Bob Davis was first runner-up for its four-part series Markets under Siege. Hasan Mujtaba of Pakistan was second runner-up for "Among the Sand Dunes of the India-Pakistan Border," which was published in the South Asian magazine HIMAL, based in Nepal.
The other seven finalists were Christopher L. Hedges of The New York Times for his 10 reports on Kosovo; Yevgenia Albats for "Our Man in Tehran," published in Novaya Gazeta (Russia); Cândida Pinto of SIC Television (Portugal) for "Surviving in Guinea-Bissau"; Richard Read of The Oregonian for "The French Fry Connection"; David E. Kaplan of U.S. News and World Report for "The Looting of Russia"; Jeremy Bowen of BBC News (UK) for "Arafat's Authority"; and Carla Power of Newsweek for "In the Shadow of the Taliban."
The panel of jurors included Bambang Harymurti, deputy chief editor of TEMPO, the Indonesian weekly news magazine; Josef Joffe, columnist and editorial page editor of the Süddeutsche Zeitung in Munich, Germany; Don Oberdorfer, author and former diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post; Carlos Puig, news director of CNI Television in Mexico; Edith Grace Ssempala, ambassador of Uganda to the United States; Bob Zelnick, author and former ABC News correspondent; and SAIS dean Paul Wolfowitz.
The 1998 SAIS-Novartis Prize for Excellence in International Journalism will be awarded to Hoffman later this month at a presentation preceded by a panel discussion of the winning topic.